Travel THAIme: AGS Seniors to Travel to Thailand


Travel Thailand Tourism – Creative Commons License

Xander Christou and Willa Roberts

The Academy for Global Studies senior class will be travelling to Thailand instead of China this year on an eight-day-long service-oriented trip to the north region in an effort to boost service learning. The new senior trip was planned by the AGS director and EF Tours and is tailored to the AGS curriculum and its goals.

“[EF Tours is] a very reputable tour company. We have traveled with them before and they’re actually creating this trip for us, so this is the first time they’ve done this particular trip,” Academy Director Nicole Griffith said.

The trip will based out of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, alternatives to the more frequented capital of Bangkok.

“It should be really interesting. Northern Thailand is beautiful. It’s very tropical,” Griffith said.

The change from China to Thailand was due to the service-oriented focus of senior year and the opportunities of service that Thailand offers. Seniors will be working in local schools in Northern Thailand, helping teach the students English, playing games, and even building facilities.

“In the eight days that we will be in Thailand, we are doing three full days of service. China was great, but it was not a service focus trip. We have service on most of our trips, though usually it’s a half day or a few hours of service, and senior year and AGS with Capstone is really about service,” Griffith said.

The service learning aspect of the trip is a big draw to AGS students, who are greatly anticipating the Thailand trip.

“I’m super pumped. I think it’ll be really cool to go to a country that has a language that I don’t speak and has an entirely different culture than anything that I’m used to,” AGS senior Anevay Ramirez said.

The trip will include activities like a Thai cooking class and a visit to a night market, among others.

“So besides the three days of travel, there is a tour of Chiang Mai where we go to a Buddhist Temple,” Griffith said. “We will have a traditional dinner, we are going trekking in the mountains, and we are going to visit a tea plantation.”

Students will prepare for the trip by attending FIT sessions led by the new debate coach Lauren Cooney as well as reading global texts about the region of Asia.

“[Cooney] used to live in Thailand, and she approached me asking if there was some way she could help with that. She’s very excited that the kids are going to be going to Thailand, so we’re working that out with her,” Griffith said.

The AGS senior teachers and academy director have worked tirelessly with EF tours to craft great and memorable experiences for the seniors to finish off their final year of high school.

“I have a lot of faith in them, in creating really amazing experiences for our students. I’ve been to Thailand, and I love Thailand. I mean, the service is going to be really cool,” Griffith said. “It’s also that kind of cultural immersion mixed in with the service since we are going to be working at schools.”